Friday, October 3, 2014

Happy Friday!

Hoping to see a lot of San Diego friends and artists tonight at Liberty Station: 2825 Dewey Rd.San Diego Watercolor Society

I went to the Preview Reception Awards Ceremony which was lovely and I met a lot of wonderful watercolor artists and their families.  The next morning, they has a breakfast for us and I learned so much about each painting from concept to the technical painting aspects.  I just absorbed everything and can't wait to try my hand with some of this new knowledge.  I have a fear of public speaking, but I did get up and speak about my painting which has a double story and how it almost had the name of "The Heavier Side Layer" but I personalized it with "Half Past Bloom".  I think everyone appreciated the painting techniques of how I took a photo of the painting when it was almost done and played with an art app on the iPad making experimental teal drips to see how it looked before actually committing to drip in a very controlled way.  I learned from the great watercolor artist, Nicholas Simmons, that watercolor accidents are both beautiful and wonderful and so I deliberately use water blooms, drips, splashes all in a very controlled manner as part of my painting and design process.  

The painting that won "Best in Show" is truly beautiful live.  There is a faint image of a rat and with tic tac toe game pieces.  The colors are dark and broody with beautiful teal to balance it all out and it's called "A Dangerous Game".  Although the artist was there for the Preview Reception, I didn't have a chance to speak to him about his painting but I sure would like to know more about it.  My favorite painting in the show is "Zumba Baby" by Joan Merrick.  She batiks her own papers and works in both watercolors, liquid acrylics and collages her papers onto her paintings. She said she takes a zumba class and here was this wonderful woman with her hair up in a ponytail with corkscrew curls and she has a baby strapped to her who slept throughout the whole zumba session.  Joan asked to take her picture and this woman graciously agreed.  I hope she finds out about this painting to see her gorgeous self and strapped baby! I would just love to take a workshop with this artist.  I don't want to infringe on any of the artists copyright by publishing their paintings on this blog, but if you'd like to take a peek at the paintings I spoke about or see the award winners, just click onto the SDWS link above.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

September Art Progress

"Faded Manuscript within Reality" by artist Arup Lodh, SDWS International Director's Postcard Award

I'm so excited to say that I've been juried into the 34th International Exhibition at the San Diego Watercolor Society.  This is the second time I've been accepted and juried in and I only need one more to go before I earn letters. The juror, Skip Lawrence, was very touched by my entry and  I also won a sweet award!  The Pre-Awards Show is this coming Saturday evening and is a fun event except that I dread going on stage to accept the award - it's my biggest fear - but at least I don't think I'll have to say anything, thank goodness. There's going to be a breakfast for all the accepted artists as well and that is such an honor and a privilege! The opening reception is on October 3rd from 5 to 8 pm at Liberty Station. It's also the first Friday and Liberty Station has all its artist galleries open as well as the Vision Arts Quilts opening reception in the same building.  This is my entry for this year's show and there's more on the story in previous post.  Anyone reading this and happens to be in town, you are more than welcome to come by and say hi!   The show is running for all of October. 
"Half Past Bloom" 22.50 x 25.50 " Watercolor on 300lb Hot Press Arches
My current work-in-progress is this large colored pencil piece of an underwater lily garden scene with a single koi. I love its almost abstract quality and I think I've composed this pretty well. I'm using my red mylar to check all my values while I'm in the process because there are so many greens and yellows.  It is done on 300lb Hot Press Arches and the base is now filled with waxed based Prismacolors.  The white areas have been masked with the white pencil to be scraped off with a blade and will be completed last.  This drawing/painting is in its ugly duckling stage.  The next step is to fire up the Icarus board and go over the wax base with Caran D'Ache and perhaps some Derwent to burnish and add more depth of color and details. Although it's a slow piece, I've broken the piece down by quartering it and working on a quarter before moving on to the next.  The fish I'll save for the last part.  This will be my project for the coming week and I hope to have it mostly completed by then so I can remove the masked areas.  I have some high hopes for it for the Colored Pencil Society's 2015 International Show.  I so want to go to Hot 'Lanta for the convention and also visit with my husband's family in Georgia.  
22.75 x 31 3/8 Colored Pencils on 300lb Hot press Arches on the easel

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Hand Art and Day of the Dead!

St. Benedictus of Honor Skull
Chrysanthemum Skull
Flying Winged Skull
Zentangle Skull
Fire Horse

Although it's a month early, I'm always up for some spooky skull art!  These skulls are for a Pen & Ink Skull Swap and are done on 4 x 6 vellom surface Bristol paper.  It's been awhile since I've drawn strictly with pens in super detail and it was hard to resist the temptation of adding watercolors, but it's strictly forbidden!
The bejeweled skull is drawn using the St. Benedictus in Honor reference photo from an old issue of Smithsonian. What an amazing skull with its crowned jeweled headdress with ribbons and lace.  The rest of the skulls I made up with the Chrysanthemum skull representing the fall season, the flying winged skull because I like the idea of skulls flying around instead of being earth bound and this one is in space and having a blast, and finally I enjoyed zoning in and making a "zentangle" skull.  My husband wants a t-shirt of the flying winged skull, so it'll probably be further developed with full wings.  

I have had my hands literally full of art!  Those are my outlined hands with paintings of some animals and a sexy calavera.  The octopus is in it's 5th incarnation having been done in the Sketchbook Project and ATCs before, but this one is the best. I love hummingbirds and have a family who stops by the feeder in the morning and evening.  I've watched a particular female for 3 years and now, she has a handsome son who has her eyes and copies her moves and comes by for a drink. The fire horse was made for this Chinese year of the Horse and happens to be my Chinese birth year and I loved how it turned out.  I really wanted to keep this one for myself.  The sexy calavera is a good start for the coming spooky season and Day of the Dead is big in San Diego! 

There were a few more art swaps I participated in but won't show because it's just too much and yes, I've been having too much fun procrastinating and making gobs of mail art!  Now it's time to put all the fun, playful stuff away for now and go back to the huge pencil painting still in progress from two months ago.  I have high hopes for this one and plan to enter it into the International Colored Pencil Show for 2015. Colored pencils take so much time and this painting/drawing is not even at 50% so time to get to work! 

On a good note, I received exciting news about my watercolor painting and will announce it towards the end of the month!  

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Orange Is the New Black

I put my big painting aside for now to make more art trading cards, this time after a favorite show "Orange Is the New Black" based on Piper Kerman's true life story.  All the characters in the show are so well developed and there is a back story on each of them that the show producers let out just a little bit.  It can be pretty raunchy, but it's addicting.

I'm still continuing in my quest to make enough art to trade, but maybe trading is much more laid back in Rochester as opposed to Artzona. No matter, I'll see if anyone still wants to trade with me.  All the artists there are so very unique in their approach and style. That said, my sister in Conn. told me to bring an umbrella.....what?

Two weeks to go......!


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Twisted Alice in Wonderland

With the art event coming up next month in Rochester, it was time to  get busy and illustrate ATCs to trade with some pretty stellar artists who'll be in attendance.  Since I was already participating in a swap in the same theme, I thought I would just expand and make an additional 9 cards to the 4 I had already.  I love doing a more contemporary twist on this favorite book by Lewis Carroll, these characters could be barflys or street gang people.  Some of the characters, like Alice herself, were difficult to do in such a small format so I resorted to doing a twisted portrait of her being a big cry baby.   With 30 or so people attending, I only have 21 more ATCs or other types of art to make.....pant, pant, pant!

Twisted Alice In Wonderland

And last but not least ~ 

Cheshire Cat

Monday, June 16, 2014

WIP ~ Underwater Garden

With this painting, I'm using two of my own photo references to make this underwater composition and switching from watercolors to colored pencils. It's an ambitious piece measuring 30.5" x 23" on 300lb hot press watercolor paper.  Currently, it's in its baby ugly stage right now and will be for some time - it looks to be 25% completed.  After the color has been blocked in, I'll heat up the Icarus board with a blender to burnish the colors so that no white can be seen through.  Can you see the koi fish drawn in the lower right hand corner?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Secret Solstice - Art Junkie

Art Junkie has so many diversified interests, it was a difficult to narrow it down to just a few subjects.  I adore this talented lady and have always been inspired by her Mesa Verde spirit people.  She knows so much about them and their culture.  I wanted to do something to honor her and her love of them, but first is this little gift for her.  She likes UFOs in a whimsical landscape, so I did a postcard of Mt. Fuji with cherry blossom trees just beginning to blossom on a snowy evening.  The only thing missing is Godzilla.

The next gift is my "big" present.  It's a watercolor book (8.5" x 11") of the Anasazi/Hopi Indians, their Gods/Goddesses and the Spirits who advised them along with their symbols, and the San Francisco Mountains and the Blue Star Comet.  The book, along with the subsequent pages, opens from the middle. For the cover, I used washi tape and Japanese book binding with additional embellishment of beads and feathers. Except for the last page, all the pages were painted first, then sewn around the spirit and I left the different colored threads hanging down.  After the book was binded together, I then cut each page, following the stitching line to reveal the next page and so on. I was excited and so pleased with how this came out, and now I want to make one for myself.

Anastasi Petroglyph Cover

1st Page - Eototo with side panels depicting Hopi pottery designs

2nd Page - Tawa

3rd Page - Conchiti

4th Page - Toho

5th Page - Kokopelli

6th Page - Pahana

Last Page - San Francisco Mountains with the Blue Star Comet